In the Berlin election, there was a potentially serious error: ballot letters reached the authorities too late, they were not counted. It's about 450 votes - with a gap of 105 votes between the SPD and the Greens, that could be significant.
According to a "Spiegel" report, the election to the Berlin House of Representatives led to a breakdown that could have serious consequences. As the magazine reports, citing information from Berlin administrative circles, postal votes were not counted due to an "internal error", even though they were sent in before the election. The topic is sensitive, it said.
The process is now being "clarified internally," said state returning officer Stephan Bröchler to "Spiegel". The votes would now be "counted and taken into account in the final election result - according to the decision of the district election committee". It is unclear how the breakdown came about, and the responsible district election committee still has to clarify that. There were communication problems in the district election office, "the slips were there, but were not forwarded correctly".
The count of the outstanding votes apparently affects the Lichtenberg district. According to information from the "Spiegel", around 450 postal votes were left there due to a logistics problem. According to the responsible district electoral office, the post failed to deliver it to the authorities in good time. The votes would be counted later this week.
Because of the SPD's razor-thin lead over the Greens, even a few additional votes could cause changes in the election results and have a corresponding impact on the composition of parliament. In Sunday's election, the Social Democrats and the Greens were almost evenly tied behind the CDU, while the SPD received only 105 votes more, according to the preliminary official results.
The election on Sunday was already a repeat ballot. The September 2021 election was declared invalid by the state constitutional court. At that time, long queues in front of polling stations and missing, mixed up or copied ballot papers made headlines nationwide.
After this election Sunday, state returning officer Bröchler initially expressed his satisfaction. On Monday, however, he admitted a "very annoying mistake" in one of the 2,257 polling stations: 115 wrong ballot papers for first votes were distributed at the polling station in Tempelhof-Schoeneberg. However, that was neither relevant for the result of the first vote there nor for the outcome of the election as a whole. Other smaller, "very low-threshold" errors in various polling stations were quickly corrected.